At 12,154 words, I’ve been keepin’ on keepin’ on with Bridled and resisting the siren calls of a Little Mermaid re-spinning and a superhero story yet unformed. I’ve also been playing with chapter titles. Chapter One, in particular, has been giving me trouble. A few discarded titles…
“A Misplaced Brit in the State of Kansas” (I was trying to play off of Shakespeare’s Hamlet — so sue me 🙄 )
“Against the Wind-bank”
As you can see, it still needs work. *ahem* Okay, okay, now you get the snippets; just as soon as I insert a witty comment that I have News about this book that you’ll hear about Sometime. Enjoy! 😉
“Ten quid says that’s the smoking gun of the case.”
“We’re in the US.”
“It’s an expression.” Hawkes sniffed.
As he groused as he couldn’t find his keys, he saw Trip repress a knowing smirk. The first surprise had been that Hawkes had laughed that night. The second was that he found himself actually accepting Trip’s offer of a lift, as if he were incapable. He cursed himself inwardly as he tripped over the phrases he used to know and at the familiar lag in his energy that kept him from changing the end of the sentence.
The car ride to the hotel was quiet, even though he could feel the drain of the day sapping at his energy. He did his best to push through the social energy that had trickled through his tired dryness.
Then the world blurred gently when he moved to open the back car door to let himself out. The edges of his vision warped and shifted, and then the road rushed towards him. He scrunched his eyes tight, shoving his balance back into place and stood back up.
Flutters. The windmills creaked behind him, and then the roll and openness of the grass, whispering, faded into murmurs, as crashing began. The ocean was tumbling again. It never stopped, kept ticking like a heartbeat, pounding on the sand. Echoes, over and over. He was walking along the shore, the shore he knew too well from freckle-faced years ago. Those same cliffs still laughed as the roar built.
He hated this place. He hated the gaping expanse of sky, blue as Lis’ eyes. He hated the sea, the surge and pummel of the Atlantic, and the miles it stretched across. Especially the miles, wet brown sugar sand. All of the sand was damp, and coarse, sloping to the sea.
Blasted salt air. He kept walking along the shore. The cliffs were as haughty as he remembered, always staring just beyond his reach. Glinting red in the angry dim light chasing the set sun, they sneered, and he scowled back, light deepening the contrasts of his coat, face and hair. Fingers of wind ran through his hair, tugging at it as if to taunt him.
“Ah, yes, Detective Inspector. Just the man I wanted to see.”
Hawkes raised an eyebrow at the hotel owner. “You’re still out of toast. What sort of a hotel actually runs out of toast? And at seven in the morning! You don’t start serving breakfast until six.”
Joss Gaiman shrugged, leaning up against the desk in a subconscious effort to not be quite so short. “The bakery and restaurant that gives us the bread has been having trouble. There’s nothing we can do right now. But I did want to speak to you.” Hawkes remained silent as a yes, and the man continued, running a calm hand over his buzzed hair.
“With all these reporters coming in because of the case they all need somewhere to stay. I figure that you don’t want them in your way, so I had a proposition, of sorts.” Hawkes hid a grimace behind an overall tired look and listened as patiently as he could.
She looked nothing like Lis or Imo, and he tried to cram that thought back into the crack it had wriggled out of without his permission. A scowl darkened his face, and he started pacing the office, rifling through file folders for anything: a hint, something he had missed, a sign.
File folders full of fragments that splintered every time he tried to fit them together, and a timer counting down angrily in his chest.
He needed a sign.
“It’s like Aldston all over again.” As soon as the words left his mouth, Trip mentally kicked himself. “That’s not what I meant to say!” he blurted as he felt the room stop.
The pale room temperature dropped as Hawkes quietly, almost as if caution had become a part of him, raised his gaze. He rubbed the bridge of his nose wearily, shoving his glasses up onto his fingers before pulling them off so that they dangled from his thin hands. A tired hardness sharpened his brown eyes. Shadows had traced along the outlines of his face, and the thin-rimmed spectacles added to the appearance of early age. “Aldston was different,” he murmured quietly, not breaking eye contact.
All snips copyrighted © to Elizabeth Kirkwood 2013.